Charm / Offensive

Being a true (ish) account of my existence on this level of reality

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Things that are concerning me
princess
athena25
A bit of a drive-by posting, but I've finally removed my head from the sandpit that is theatre and looked around to see woe blossoming elsewhere. I suppose it might be heartening to think that not only is my own personal empire being screwed over by the current status quo but that we are all in it together*.

So, I am worried. I'm worried about the lack of support for AV, and the frankly terrifying posters that are going up around Wandsworth, funded by the wrong-headed No to AV campaign who seem to be fielding a "don't use this system because Fiji uses it" by-line that doesn't actually make much sense to me, but who knows, maybe Fiji is some sort of by-word for "awful"? Rather than exotic and pleasing to say (go on, say it feee geee). It's something to do with popularity - as if voting systems should be decided on the basis of how many people invite them to their parties.

Crass but entertaining explaination of why AV is a good idea is here.

I'm also worried about tuition fees. Not for me. I'm all educated-up, but you know, I'm trying to move away from my parochial arts-based worries and extend my concern to other areas. Like the future. Where I hope to live one day. And I hope contains people like doctors, teachers and even (fuck it) arts managers. Who all need further education, really. And it would be nice if they could be people who wanted to do it, and who enjoyed doing it rather than simply people who could afford to.

This worry was compounded by the frankly incredulous news that the government is surprised that universities are charging the full amount. Really? Really? At the same time as central funding is cut and we know that there really wasn't enough to start with, it's surprising that universities are going for extra cash?

This notion of "surprise", possibly encouraged by the idea that such a system might be "empowering" for students** leads me to believe that there is a lack of higher education (or perhaps a dictionary) within the current regime. Which whilst leading me to keep quoting famous utterances of linguistic disbelief is very worrying.

Though it would explain a lot.



* It's not. Really.
**SHUT UP WILLETS!
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The tuition fees will also have a serious impact on postgraduate studies, hence the research that an advanced economy needs (and there's no way the UK can compete with China on basic level manufacturing). Who in hell is going to be willing to go even further into debt to study a masters degree or PhD?

Speaking from my own experience - there's no way I could have afforded to study an unfunded PhD before the changes in policy and I wasn't even sure I'd be able to pay to complete my MA when I started it. Had the new system in place I would have found it much easier to afford. Up-front fees are a killer, small monthly repayments are not.

Interesting. From mine, I funded my MSc using a career development loan - converting the upfront fee (much smaller than the fees now proposed) into monthly repayments. I then worked for some years, and paid off my debt before I felt in a position consider a PhD. My original comment was only based on undergraduate fees as I don't know what system will now apply for postgraduate study. I am concerned about the effect on scientific research, as those doing a science degree will often be those who have to repay the full fees, and the UK already struggles to attract students to these high workload courses. From what I've read, the monthly repayments aren't what I'd describe as small, and the size of the debt that students will incur is daunting. A new funding system was necessary. Forcing it through in this rushed manner was not, and I believe the end result has significant flaws, often born out of hastily patching in ill-considered "concessions" in an attempt to quell opposition.

Oh, and anyone doing postgraduate study puts off repaying their debt, which now incurs market interest rates, growing even larger.
Knew I'd forget at least one reason!

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